The Note: As Annoying As the Kennedy Center Honors

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4

Undereducated Note readers can get bogged down on Iraq this week (or this month), or they can move to where the political action is: 2008.

The must-reads:

1. Adam Nagourney of the New York Times takes a look at the altered dynamics of the 2008 presidential contest on the Democratic side due to Sen. Obama's potential candidacy. Nagourney smartly Notes that the impact is not so much on Sen. Clinton -- and more is complicating matters for the rest of the Democratic field originally planning strategies to emerge as the Clinton alternative. LINK

"Mark McKinnon, who was a top adviser to President Bush in his two White House runs and who is a senior adviser to Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and a likely presidential candidate in 2008, said, 'I think Barack Obama is the most interesting persona to appear on the political radar screen in decades.' He added, 'He's a walking, talking hope machine, and he may reshape American politics.'"

Note, too, the details of a Spitzer/Clinton brunch in Manhattan yesterday where Nagourney reports that the two pols sifted through the pros and cons of a possible Clinton presidential run.

2. The New York Times' Pat Healy offered a Sunday must-read that moved the Hillary Clinton ball down the field a bit with his reporting that the Senator has started meeting with New York Democratic elected officials to talk them through her thinking and ask them to continue to keep their powder dry as she continues exploring a candidacy. LINK

3. And according to Liz Smith's Sunday column in the New York Post, it appears that not all of that shoring up home-state support has been happening behind closed doors. LINK

(Note to the Post political desk: you might want to read this column.)

4. Glenn Thrush reports that Clinton is expected to name a longtime congressional fundraiser, Jonathan Mantz, to the critical job of national finance director, "according to a knowledgeable source outside Clinton's camp." LINK

5. New York Magazine's John Heilemann writes a must-read cover story on Bloomberg 2008. Mayor Bloomberg acknowledges that he thinks he would be a good president, but that he still does not intend to run. Heilemann (through the likes of Doug Schoen and Mark McKinnon) also gives Kevin Sheekey his due props. Don't miss Heilemann's reporting on how Bloomberg and Unity '08 could potentially find common purpose -- not a small thing in terms of ballot access for the billionaire. LINK

6. In a story that makes clear he hasn't ruled out a vice presidential bid, the Wall Street Journal's Chris Cooper reports that while Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) "has been vague about his own plans, there are few secrets about where his sympathies lie for 2008. Two of his chief political operatives have allied themselves with Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who is considering a presidential bid."

7. Cindy Adams is into the Gore thing. LINK

As for today's events, President Bush meets with the lead of the Supreme Council for the Islamci Revolution in Iraq at 1:15 pm ET at the White House. The Fox News Channel broadcasts a Brit Hume interview with President Bush at 6:00 pm ET. At 10:30 am ET, the President and First Lady participate in children's holiday reception and performance. First Lady Laura Bush speaks at the launch of the Partnership of the U.S. Afghan Women's Council and Georgetown University at 11:45 am ET.

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